Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders knows a thing or two about offense.
The legendary cornerback shut down opposing wide receivers in a 14-year career, but Sanders' playmaking ability allowed him to occasionally moonlight as a two-way player. Each of the five NFL teams he played for targeted him for at least one pass, and Sanders caught 36 passes for 475 yards and a touchdown with the Dallas Cowboys in 1996.
Last season's NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes will lead the Kansas City Chiefs' quick-strike passing attack against the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, but Sanders is a big fan of his former team's passing offense.
"First of all, [tight end George Kittle's] just unbelievable," Sanders told reporters from Super Bowl Radio Row in Miami on Friday. "[Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders], all those guys, man. They have a really good receiving corps, and they've got a quarterback (Jimmy Garoppolo) that you're not talking about that can spin it as well. Fortunately, they got here a couple weeks ago on the running game. They don't care how they win, they just want the results of it. But do not underestimate San Francisco's passing attack because they can get the job done as well."
Garoppolo threw the ball just eight times in the 49ers' aforementioned NFC Championship Game win over the Green Bay Packers. The NFL traffics in What Have You Done For Me Lately, and San Francisco's, um, limited passing game against Green Bay stood in stark contrast to Mahomes' 294-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game.
But from Weeks 9 through 17 of the regular season, Garoppolo ranked no worse than fifth in completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns and passer rating among qualifying. Mahomes, returning from injury, made two fewer starts during that time. Still, the Kansas City signal-caller ranked behind Garoppolo in each of those categories during said stretch.
"He's here (in Super Bowl LIV)," Sanders told reporters. "He's one of the best quarterbacks in the game. I think winning-percentage wise, he's ... at the top of the game, and winning in the games that he's performed in in his career. I love everything he brings to the table, and I love what they've placed around him to insulate him as well."
Not many passing offenses can keep up with the Chiefs, but Sanders seems to believe the 49ers are plenty capable with Garoppolo at the helm.
You can watch the full interview in the player above.
Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Also tune in at 1 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday for a two-hour special of "49ers Pregame Live" with Laura Britt, Donte Whitner, Jeff Garcia, Ian Williams, Kelli Johnson, Greg Papa and Grant Liffmann. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on "49ers Postgame Live," starting immediately after the game.